Although I cannot recall the first time I saw it, I remember The Princess Bride from when I was a kid. It definitely made an impression on me. I was sucked in by the romance of it and had a crush on Cary Elwes for a number of years. And Robin Wright was so beautiful and regal, I wanted to be her. Inigo Montoya was also a favorite character of mine, and my brothers and I repeated lines constantly. In middle school, I even searched out the original book by William Goldman, but I was too young to know for sure whether “the good parts” version was a joke or not. I’m pretty sure I tried to find the “original” by S. Morgenstern because–unlike the little boy in the movie–I liked the kissing parts.
So when a comment reminded me of As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (2016), I thought it would be perfect to listen to as an audiobook. I was even more sure of this after I checked and saw that Cary Elwes would be doing the reading. I’ve probably mostly outgrown the childhood crush, but I could happily listen to him talk about anything for hours.
I very much enjoyed this book. Cary Elwes did a great job reading it, and there were many asides from almost everyone involved, including: Rob Reiner, Robin Wright, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest and others. I’d heard a number of stories about the making of The Princess Bride, but Elwes certainly went into more detail. He begins with how he was offered the part and when he met Robin Wright to preparation for the great sword fight with Inigo. There are also his memories of working with Andre the Giant and how much fun everyone had on set. In addition, Elwes discussed the couple of times he was hurt during filming and how that affected production.
This is a lighthearted book discussing a lighthearted, nostalgic movie. It sounded like everyone involved was great to work with and contributed to a wonderful camaraderie on set. Everyone spoke with such fondness for working on the project and for what it turned out to be. Rob Reiner sounds like a fantastic person who can not only create a unique, enduring masterpiece but can also be kind and compassionate to everyone he works with. Recommended.
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